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Biology graduate David A. Leiby ’81 serves as chief of parasitology at the American Red Cross Holland Laboratory, Rockville, Md., and is associate professor of microbiology and tropical medicine at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Leiby has been a featured speaker in the School for Education on Emerging Diseases, an on-going series of educational internet broadcasts about emerging infectious diseases held by the American Association of Blood Banks and Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics.

He presented his research on Trypanosoma cruzi, a Latin American parasite that causes Chagas’ disease, at an annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Philadelphia. The research was presented as part of a course on clinical tropical medicine and travelers’ health.

Trypanosoma cruzi is of importance in the United States because blood donors who were born in Latin America may be infected with this parasite,” he explains. “Blood from these people may transmit the infection via blood transfusion.”

The parasite has been a focus of Leiby’s work since he joined the Red Cross more than a decade ago.

Leiby earned his doctorate from The Ohio State University in 1989. He credits his association with Bernard Fried, Kreider Professor Emeritus of Biology, for his career.

“The opportunity to conduct research with Fried as an undergraduate provided me with an introduction to biomedical research that ultimately became my career,” he says.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles